Saturday night’s rocket attack on Israel could signal increased desperation in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip over Palestinian Authority’s recent decision to renew security ties with Israel, The Jerusalem Post reports.
The second rocket attack in a week, severely damaged a building in Ashkelon provoking limited strikes on Hamas military bases, munitions-manufacturing facilities and a naval training by Israeli fighter jets and helicopters Sunday.
“Hamas’ options are limited. They can only signal to Israel ‘I’m here too’ by launching a rocket or two or maybe more, depending on the coronavirus situation in Gaza,” Dr. Shaul Bartal, a retired lieutenant colonel told The Media Line.
Hamas refused to take responsibility for Saturday night’s rocket fire, blaming rogue cells and independent missile operators, bit Israel’s chief military spokesperson said that they hold Hamas responsible for any belligerent activity emanating from Gaza.
Palestinian Authority, which runs the West Bank and is headed by the Hamas’s longtime rival Fatah, announced on Tuesday that it was resuming security coordination with Jerusalem.
Since winning control of the Gaza Strip, Hamas has waged several wars against Israel, firing rockets into Israeli border towns and kidnapping soldiers. According to experts, Hamas doesn’t need a reason to fire rockets on Israel.
Hamas and the PA have held previous reconciliation talks in Istanbul, Beirut, Doha and Damascus in addition to Cairo. Some had seemed close to agreement. PA President Mahmoud Abbas sent his representative, Jibril Rajoub, to sign the Istanbul agreement, but it was merely a tool, a whip.
Hamas called the PA decision to renew ties with Israel “throwing aside its values and national principles.”